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More Stuff Cramming into Millennium Park

By Prescott Carlson in Miscellaneous on Apr 8, 2009 8:35PM

How much huge, interactive, contemporary art is too much? Millennium Park is trying to find out. Besides the four large Chinese sculptures on display starting tomorrow, two temporary pavilions will also be joining the cavalcade of spectacle in the park this June. The "Burnham Pavilions" are being installed by The Burnham Plan Centennial, a group who, as the name obviously implies, is celebrating the 100 year anniversary of architect Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago. The pavilions are "intended to echo the audacity of the 1909 Burnham Plan, which proclaimed, 'What we as a people decide to do in the public interest we can and surely will bring to pass.'"

The pavilions have been designed by two heavy hitting architects -- London's Zaha Hadid, and Amsterdam's Ben van Berkel. Joseph Rosa, the Art Institute of Chicago curator who worked on the projects was quoted by the Tribune saying, "It’s like Vera Wang doing Kohl’s clothing." (Which seems like a backhanded compliment.) Hadid's pavilion will utilize "state-of-the-art fabric technologies," and the various cut outs in the floating roof will provide unique peeks at the Chicago skyline. The entire structure can be deconstructed and re-installed in another location after this initial exhibit. The pavilion by van Berkel features straight lines with more cutouts for views of surrounding buildings, and will be made out of donated steel which will be recycled when the structure is taken down. They will both be open to the public from June 19 until October 31, 2009, when Millennium Park goes back to being a tiny bit more "open, clear, and free."